While you were wishing Christmas break would arrive and be done with already, the astronauts on the International Space Station made history. They 3D-printed a spare part for the 3D printer. In space. We saw this one coming, since a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship dropped off a 3D printer by Made In Space earlier this month.
But try to wrap your head around the gravity of this accomplishment. The fact that astronauts 3D-printed a spare part means that humans are now manufacturing things in space. This has never been done before! It's also pretty awesome. "It's not only the first part printed in space, it's really the first object truly manufactured off planet Earth," Aaron Kemmer, the CEO of Made in Space, told the press.
"Where there was not an object before, we essentially 'teleported' an object by sending the bits and having it made on the printer. It's a big milestone, not only for NASA and Made In Space, but for humanity as a whole."